Sega System 16
From Sega Retro
(Redirected from Pre-System 16 Hardware)
The Sega System 16 is an arcade board released by Sega in 1985 as a 16-bit successor to the Sega System 1. Throughout its lifespan, there would be around forty games released on this hardware, making it one of Sega's most successful hardware designs. It was produced in three variants, the Pre-System 16, System 16A and System 16B, though the only differences between the three are clock speeds.
The System 16 is the home to many of Sega's most successful franchises, including Shinobi, Fantasy Zone, Altered Beast and Golden Axe. It popularised the use of the Motorola 68000 CPI and Zilog Z80 combo, something which was copied for Capcom's successful CPS-1 and CPS-2 boards (among other arcade systems of the day), as well as most notably, the Sega Mega Drive.
In order to prevent piracy, as well as illegal bootleg games, many System 16 boards used an encryption system. A Hitachi FD1094 chip, containing the main CPU as well as the decryption key, was used in place of a regular CPU.
Though Pre-System 16, System 16A and System 16B are the three most recognised variants of the hardware, there is technically a fourth, dubbed "System 16C" which was used by the 2008 release of Fantasy Zone II DX: The Tears of Opa-Opa. Fantasy Zone II DX arrived almost a decade and a half after the System 16 hardware was discontinued, however its real arcade release means that System 16C specifications may belong to the Sega System 16 series. Fantasy Zone II DX needs more RAM than any of the other System 16 boards can offer, but the game adhered to other restrictions of the hardware.
Sega System 16A
Sega System 16B
List of Games